Boing Boing 

4 year old is tired of hearing about Bronco Bama, Mitt Rominey, and the elections

Elizabeth Evans says, "This is my four year old daughter, Abigael, after hearing one too many mentions of the election."

"The election will be over soon," Elizabeth tells her child in the video.

Video Link.

(via David Carr)

Bauhaus: "Bela Lugosi's Dead" live, 1982

Bauhaus perform "Bela Lugosi's Dead" in 1982 at London's Old Vic Theatre.

Mysterious docs retrieved from meth lab show inner workings of "Dark Money"

A strange story from Frontline and ProPublica: "Found in a meth house in Colorado, they were somewhat of a mystery, holding files on 23 conservative candidates in state races in Montana. They were filled with candidate surveys and mailers that said they were paid for by campaigns, and fliers and bank records from outside spending groups. One folder was labeled “Montana $ Bomb.” The documents pointed to one outside group pulling the candidates’ strings: a social welfare nonprofit called Western Tradition Partnership, or WTP." You'll want to watch the related Frontline documentary.

BB Readers' DIY Costumes: Multicultural/Birthday/Gay Mummy

In our Epic Halloween DIY Costume thread, Boing Boing reader Christopher Ing says, "Went as a multicultural mummy (a.k.a. the birthday mummy)."

Hanging tree forts: Cocoon Tree

Cocoon Tree is a 60kg hanging tree-fort. You can gang up multiple, special-purpose cocoons (bathroom, bedroom, dining room) to build a little treetop house, with a safety net beneath. Each cocoon is supported by six guy-wires rated to 1.6 tons each, and is framed in aluminum.

COCOON TREE - dormir dans les arbres (warning: autoplays [terrible] music) (via Geekologie)

BB Readers' DIY Costumes: Pirate Family (with adorable pirate baby!)

In our Epic Halloween DIY Costume thread, Boing Boing reader Miss Emelia shares this awesome photo and says,

We're working Haunted Fox Hollow again, so our darling new baby girl is joining us in the pirate cove during the "light scares" hour. So far, she's done great. She's more giggles than Y'arrr, but we cheerfully tell the guests that she'll learn to swab the deck or she'll end up in the pirate's stew. When the little kids see that she isn't the least bit scared, it helps them get their courage back.

Meet the asshole who tweeted false warnings about hurricane

[Update: Jordan Terry of Stone Street Advisors tweeted that Tripathi has never worked at Stone Street. He was a financial blogger for Stone Street.]

Shashank Tripathi, a hedge fund analyst and a former financial blogger for Stone Street Partners and a campaign manager for a Republican congressional candidate, tweeted a bunch of phony warnings about the city losing power due to the storm. Classic sociopath humor.

It turns out that @ComfortablySnug is one Shashank Tripathi, not some bored student or some troublemaker from the Occupy camp. In fact, he’s the opposite: he’s a hedge fund analyst with Stone Street Advisors [Update: he was a financial blogger for Stone Street Advisors, not an employee]. He was also — and really, should we be surprised? — the campaign manager for Christopher R. Wight, this year’s Republican candidate for the U.S. House from New York’s 12th Congressional District. According to BuzzFeed, FEC documents show Wight has paid Tripathi thousands of dollars this election cycle as a “consultant”, and this Meetup page names him as the go-to guy for a Republican “Super Monday” event. He resigned from the position as soon as word got out that he was falsely crying “power outage”, and I’m sure the Repubs will work hard to distance themselves from this feeder on misery.

Joey deVilla has an update: It turns out that Tripathi's already internet famous from this 2008 story: The Self-Obsessed, Emotionally Detached Hedge-Funder, in which he brags about “hate sex” with a woman with low-self esteem that left her bruised.

However, Tripathi has since offered a sincere unsigned apology for his alarming tweets.

@ComfortablySmug -- Doesn't This Guy Have Better Things to Do? | GigaOm: Tweeting fake news in a crisis — illegal or just immoral? | Buzzfeed: Shashank Tripathi, Last Night’s Twitter Villain @ComfortablySmug | NYMag: Sandy’s Biggest Twitter Troll Apologizes, But Won’t Find Redemption

BB Readers' DIY Costumes: Marshall Lee + Fionna from Adventure Time

In our Epic Halloween DIY Costume thread, Boing Boing reader slippy0 shares these snapshots and says, "Mine really isn't that fancy, but the stars aligned and gave me a week of time to work on props. I was Marshall Lee from Adventure Time, and decided to make his axe-bass instead of just painting a 2D cutout. The results aren't amazing, but they're more than I planned to do, and very DIY. I went with my friend who was Fionna. We got a lot of compliments. :) "

Just another awesome video about the 11' 8" bridge that peels the tops off trucks

This badass bridge has its own website.

BB Readers' DIY Costumes: Gotham City Rockers

In our Epic Halloween DIY Costume thread, Boing Boing reader eyesfingerstoes says, "Me and about 30 of my cronies are hitting the Portsmouth (NH) Halloween Parade this year as the Gotham City Rockers - all hand made interpretations of Denis Medri's Rockabilly Batman concept drawings. Link to the process I used to make my Leather Batman Cowl here."

BB Readers' DIY Costumes: Weeping Angel and Tiny Dalek

In our Epic Halloween DIY Costume thread, Boing Boing reader Christine Cobos shares snapshots of the "Weeping Angel" she made for her daughter, and the Dalek she made for her son, an obvious Doctor Who fan.

BB Readers' DIY Costumes: Seymour from "Little Shop of Horrors"

In our Epic Halloween DIY Costume thread, Boing Boing reader Charles Pieper (tumblr, Twitter) says, "This year I am going as Seymour from 'Little Shop of Horrors' and yes indeed I made Audrey II as well!"

So very brilliant, Charles!

Sociological Images annual Halloween “Sexy What!” post

Lisa Wade says: " Here is our annual post featuring sexy costumes that we think are just… bizarre. When sexy “overtakes all reason,” you can sexualize just about anything."

When Daleks pushed cigarettes to kids

Betcha didn't know that the Daleks featured in a series of TV and print ads that appeared in the likes of Children's Dalek Annual 1978.

Hello people of the past: you... seriously used Dr Who and the Daleks to advertise tobacco?

BB Readers' DIY Costumes: Living Roy Lichtenstein painting, by Gina Menduni

BB reader Gina Menduni made this genius Roy Lichtenstein costume for Halloween 2012. We are gobsmacked, Gina! Thanks for sharing it in the epic DIY Halloween costume thread!

Old skeleton found in tree upended by Sandy


Yesterday a homeless woman at New Haven Green park in Connecticut noticed something odd tangled in the roots of a huge oak tree torn from the ground by Superstorm Sandy: a human skeleton. Apparently, The Green was used as a burial ground until 1821. The headstones were eventually moved but the bodies were not. "Skeletal Remains Found In Upended Tree" (New Haven Independent)

NYC's 911 system overloaded during Hurricane Sandy

The "Superstorm" that wallopped the Northeast US this week serves as another reminder of how easily overwhelmed New York City’s 911 phone system is. So much so that Mayor Mike Bloomberg again and again urged citizens not to use it to report anything but the most immediate life-threatening emergencies. "The city said it was receiving 10,000 calls per half hour—10 times the normal level—as the storm pounded the city late Monday," reports The Wall Street Journal.

A helpful roundup of emergency gadgets

Brian Lam at Wirecutter has a timely post up about gadgets and tools one might find useful in an emergency like Hurricane Sandy. Device chargers, generators, two-way radios, but also "hey why didn't I think of that before the hurricane" non-electronics stuff like Handi-Wipes, socks, umbrellas, and good deals on batteries.

Prototype for a beginner's sewing machine

I've taken sewing lessons a few times, but I quickly forget how to use the machine - threading it, winding a bobbin, setting the tension, etc. Sarah Dickins has designed a new sewing machine for beginners. It's nice looking and her mechanism demo is cool. Good luck to her!

Sarah Dickins, a designer from Loughborough university, tackles beginner frustations with sewing machines. 'Alto,' her innovative touch-controlled sewing machine, simplifes speed control by eliminating the pedal and also guides the user through threading.

(Via Adafruit)

Gruber on iPad Mini

“Wow, it feels like a Kindle,” and “Ew, the screen is terrible,” were Mrs. Daring Fireball’s initial reactions when Gruber handed her the iPad Mini to see what she, "an avid daily user of an iPad 3," thought. "Her initial reaction matched mine exactly, and perfectly encapsulates the experience," Gruber writes. But his prediction: "This is going to play out much like the iPod and iPod Mini back in 2004: the full-size model will continue to sell strongly, but the Mini is going to become the bestselling model." []

Fake Hurricane Sandy shark photo migrates to Chinese web

A Weibo user identified “the U.S. hurricane” as the source of the "shark swimming in New Jersey streets" photo, which has been proven to be fake (we could totally tell by the pixels). He added of the shark, “In China, it would’ve been cooked already.” More at WaPo.

Supreme Court asked to reconsider effectiveness of drug-sniffing dogs in narcotics cases

Two cases on the Supreme Court docket "present an aggressive challenge to the notion that a dog’s 'alert' to the presence of drugs is enough to legally justify a search of someone’s home or vehicle. Robert Barnes in the Washington Post has more.

First-person account of Sandy hospital evacuation for cancer patient with recent liver transplant

In the NYT's live-blog of Hurricane Sandy's impact on NYC today, a riveting account of the NYU hospital evacuation as told through the case of Christine Chin, who has had a series of operations after part of her husband's liver was used to replace her cancerous one. The hospital lost power during the storm surge Monday night, and its backup generators also proved vulnerable.

Siouxsie and the Banshees performing "Halloween" (1981)

Siouxsie and the Banshees in 1981 performing "Halloween," from their essential album Juju.

BB Readers' DIY Costumes: Animal and Son of Anarchy, by BrotherPower

Boing Boing reader BrotherPower shares this work-in-progress shot of the Animal costume he's making for his 8-year-old.

"I just finished the oversized drumsticks and the spiky wristbands today."

Read the rest

TOM THE DANCING BUG: The Republican Rapid Rape Response Squad!!

Tom the Dancing Bug: Another thrilling episode of The Republican Rapid Rape Response Squad!!Read the rest

Scientists warned, again and again, that extreme weather could devastate NYC

David W. Chen and Mireya Navarro write in The New York Times about warnings that weren't heeded: "For nearly a decade, scientists have told city and state officials that New York faces certain peril: rising sea levels, more frequent flooding and extreme weather patterns. The alarm bells grew louder after Tropical Storm Irene last year, when the city shut down its subway system and water rushed into the Rockaways and Lower Manhattan."

East Coast US residents try to get back to normal after Sandy

22 deaths reported in NYC alone. 7 million still without power. Traffic and transit are a mess. Airports slowly re-opening. Damage estimates range as high as $15 billion in insured property losses, and an additional $20 billion in lost economic activity. As you might imagine, the NY Times' coverage is the gold standard on this story. Good roundup at The Atlantic Wire, too.

Grand Guignol horror show, 1947


Grand Guignol was a Parisian theater that between 1897 and 1962 staged macabre plays known for their cartoon horror and violence. LIFE shares with us vintage photos of this splatterpunk paradise. Above, "Burned by vitriol thrown at him by his girl who comes to seek forgiveness, her lover turns slowly to reveal his elaborately blighted face. Then he strangles her." "Shock Value: Inside Paris’ Grand Guignol Theater, 1947"

Zappos's crappy EULA found unenforceable, leaving Zappos without a legal leg to stand on

Of all the stupid clauses in the license "agreements" that the Internet crams down your throat, the cake-taker is "this agreement subject to change without notice." In other words, you're "agreeing" to anything and everything that the company dreams up, for the rest of time. This clause -- and its place in a "browsewrap agreement" that you supposedly agreed to just by visiting a website with "by visiting this website, you agree to our terms of service" on the bottom of it -- was found to be unenforceable by a federal judge in Nevada, who voided out the company's whole agreement on that basis, leaving the company vulnerable to lawsuits after a password leak affecting 24 million customers.

Eric Goldman's posted analysis:

Zappos can hardly be surprised by this adverse judicial ruling. We have known for years that browsewraps are unenforceable (see some of the cases discussed here) and judges clearly dislike unilateral amendment clauses (see, e.g., the uncited Ninth Circuit's Douglas ruling from 2007 and the cited 2009 ruling in the Blockbuster/Facebook Beacon case).

Still, the ruling leaves Zappos in a bad position. Its contract is legally irrelevant, meaning that all of the risk management provisions in its contract are ineffective--its disclaimer of warranties, its waiver of consequential damages, its reduced statute of limitations, its clause restricting class actions in arbitration...all of these are gone, leaving Zappos governed by the default legal rules, which aren't nearly as favorable to it. Losing its contract provisions meant Zappos is legally naked.

Avoiding this outcome is surprisingly easy. Use clickthrough agreements, not browsewraps, and remove any clauses that say you can unilaterally amend the contract.

That's pretty grim: you can load up nearly any BS you want in a EULA, and so long as you stick it in a clickthrough "agreement" and it's binding. Good time to remind you all of my own email sig, the original "Reasonable Agreement:

READ CAREFULLY. By reading this email, you agree, on behalf of your employer, to release me from all obligations and waivers arising from any and all NON-NEGOTIATED agreements, licenses, terms-of-service, shrinkwrap, clickwrap, browsewrap, confidentiality, non-disclosure, non-compete and acceptable use policies ("BOGUS AGREEMENTS") that I have entered into with your employer, its partners, licensors, agents and assigns, in perpetuity, without prejudice to my ongoing rights and privileges. You further represent that you have the authority to release me from any BOGUS AGREEMENTS on behalf of your employer.

Feel free to use this in your own contexts, of course!

How Zappos' User Agreement Failed In Court and Left Zappos Legally Naked (Forbes Cross-Post)